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LOUISVILLE: Kenny Payne had the voice of a man seeking solace from a harsh life. His basketball club from Louisville came agonizingly close to pulling off the victory in one of those games where everything gets turned around. Rather, No. 19 Texas overcame a late deficit to defeat Payne for the 30th time in 36 games as the Cardinals’ coach. This seems like it was four years ago, even though it was only four weeks ago.

Payne took a seat for a press conference held at Madison Square Garden following the game. That Sunday afternoon, there was a certain hopeful quality about him. He gave a knowing look and nodded. “Things will only get better,” he declared. “It won’t get any worse.”

LOUISVILLE, KY: Nobody is immune to trash talk, especially during a season as difficult as the Louisville men’s basketball team is experiencing. not even the head coach.

After a late defensive rotation resulted in a Pitt three-pointer, first-year head coach Kenny Payne disclosed to the media that an unidentified Panthers player had begun yelling trash to him. This was after the Cardinals’ lopsided loss against Pitt on Wednesday night.

“The ball moved around, I could see the play coming, one of our players was sort of in the gap, but not really,” said Payne. “You have to come here, you have to come here,” I’m screaming at him. As he turns to face the direction of the ball, it touches his hands and he fires it in time. “He’s not there, Coach, he’s too late,” he says to me as he turns to face me.

But Payne wasn’t put off that a player on the other team chose to trash speak him. Rather, he was proud of the optimistic role he played and hoped his teammates had taken the initiative.

That’s nice, he said. “I enjoy watching a man play with assurance. I want them quiet, fans or critics may say, acting as though you’ve been there before. They are the ones who are attacking in this conflict. We are the prey, and they are the predators.

At the KFC Yum! Center, Pitt made an incredible 14 three-pointers en route to defeating Louisville 75-54. It set a new program record for the Cardinals’ single-season record—their eighth 20-point defeat of the year.

Louisville is currently on a nine-game losing run and is 2-17 overall and 0-8 in ACC play. With 12 games left in the regular season, they are only three losses short of tying the school record for most losses in a single season.

They’ll be back in action on Wednesday, January 25 at 9:00 p.m. EST when they visit Boston College.

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